The goal of money management is to create a better life for yourself. Even though a lot of financial advice focuses on achieving long-term goals, there’s plenty you can do to make sure you’re enjoying these positive benefits in your daily life.
This is the whole point of financial self-care: Even as you work toward bigger financial goals, you should still be taking time to establish habits and practices that you can enjoy today—not just tomorrow.
Use the following six tips to prioritize your mental health by practicing financial self-care.
1. Use automatic contributions to build up an emergency fund.
There’s no faster path to better financial self-care than giving yourself a financial cushion to help you weather unexpected circumstances.
Automatic contributions are a great tool to help you save without needing to make tough decisions every month. Regular, set contributions will build up your emergency fund and improve your financial security, which will help put your mind at ease.
You might also consider a combination of contribution methods, including a convenient savings tool like Pocket Change. Pocket Change rounds up any charge to your bank account and deposits the difference in your savings account. If you’re new to saving, this is an easy way to generate small savings while you spend. You can also use it alongside scheduled contributions to accelerate your saving process.
2. Budget for expenses that bring you joy.
The beauty of having a personalized budget is that you can build in extra room for small expenses that bring you joy.
Set aside a small amount of money for luxuries you don’t always allow yourself, whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a trip out for ice cream, or other modest purchases that make you happy and don’t blow your budget.
3. Choose financial goals that you’re excited about.
There’s no strict blueprint for setting and prioritizing financial goals—it’s about working toward milestones that are meaningful to you personally. If you’re finding it difficult to stick to your budget, think about coming up with a specific goal that you’re more motivated to achieve.
If you’re eager to buy a home, for example, but the more urgent need is to replace your vehicle, try thinking of the car purchase as a step along the way to buying your home. By reframing your financial responsibilities in the context of your top goal, you can stay motivated and on track.
4. Track your finances to keep yourself in the know.
Ignorance isn’t bliss—it only feels that way. If you’re not clear on the realities of your financial circumstances, you’re only setting yourself up for bigger headaches down the road.
Better financial awareness and education will improve your financial wisdom while giving you certainty about the state of your finances. Try using a money management tool to track and categorize your spending, and you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing how your spending is matching up with your budgeted limits. Not sure where to start to create a budget? Here’s a downloadable guide that walks you through each step.
5. Gradually reduce your reliance on debt.
Credit cards and loans can help you afford bigger purchases than you can pay for in cash, but the interest on these loans can be costly in the long run. Having debt hanging over your head can also be a source of stress and financial worry, especially if your income is affected in the future.
In some cases, debt is unavoidable and even essential to your financial wellness. But when it comes to furniture, vacations, luxury items, or other big purchases, it’s smart to avoid debt whenever possible. One way to avoid debt is to save up for these purchases ahead of time.
6. Talk to a financial advisor who can help organize your finances.
Feeling uncertain about your financial future? With so many variables to consider over the course of your life, it can be helpful to speak with an expert who can walk you through various scenarios and provide a sense of assurance about your financial plan.
The more you practice financial self-care, the less money-related worry you’ll experience. Discover more tips that support self-care by downloading our e-book, A Complete Guide to Budgeting.